Astralis completed a strong comeback Monday, winning its fourth match in a row to finish first in Group D of the ESL Pro League Season 13 event. Team Liquid and Virtus.pro also advanced to the main bracket of the 12-team playoffs, which start Friday.
Astralis joined the three other group winners — Heroic, Ninjas in Pyjamas, and Gambit Esports — in earning byes in the first round of the playoffs, which will take place over the next two weekends, leading to the April 11 Grand Final of the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive event. The winner will take home $175,000 of the $750,000 prize pool, plus 1,300 Pro Tour points and a berth in the $1 million BLAST Premier 2021 Global Final, scheduled for December.
Astralis posted successive 16-10 triumphs over Fnatic on Train and Dust II, as Nicolai “device” Reedtz led the all-Danish squad by posting 52 kills with a plus-24 kill/death differential. That gave Astralis first place with a 4-1 record in the group, gaining the tiebreak nod ahead of Team Liquid on the strength of winning their head-to-head match earlier in the week.
Liquid moved to 4-1 by getting past Virtus.pro with successive 16-13 decisions on Dust II and on Vertigo, as American Jonathan ‘EliGE” Jablonowski posted 64 kills and a plus-28 differential.
Evil Geniuses, who started the group stage by defeating Astralis last Thursday, lost for the fourth consecutive day — beaten in consecutive games by Endpoint, which finished fourth in the group at 2-3 ahead of 1-4 EG and Fnatic. Only the first three teams advance.
Endpoint beat EG, 16-13 on Inferno and 16-12 on Vertigo, as Shahar “flameZ” Shushan of Israel led a balanced attack with 46 kills and a plus-5 differential. EG’s Owen “oBo” Schlatter of the United States led all scorers in the match with 51 kills and a plus-14 differential.
In the playoffs, matches remain best-of-three, with eight teams playing in the first round, with the group winners playing off to determine which two teams (winners) move right into the semifinals, and which two (losers) play in the quarterfinals against two teams that emerge from the first two rounds.
ESL Pro League Season 13 Group D final standings:
1. Astralis, 4-1, +33
2. Team Liquid, 4-1, +36
3. Virtus.pro, 3-2, +9
4. Endpoint, 2-3, -16
5. Fnatic, 1-4, -52
6. Evil Geniuses, 1-4, -9
Playoff Pairings: First Round
Single-elimination, winners advance to second round Sunday
FURIA Esports vs. FunPlus Phoenix
Team Liquid vs. G2 Esports
Complexity vs. Natus Vincere
Virus.pro vs. ENCE
Thursday, April 8
Winners to Semifinals , losers to quarterfinals
Heroic vs. Ninjas in Pyjamas
Gambit Esports vs. Astralis
–Field Level Media